In meeting with German counterpart, FM Qureshi underscores need for peace in Afghanistan

Published April 29, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (right)  with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas at the Foreign Office. — Photo courtesy Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (right) with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas at the Foreign Office. — Photo courtesy Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday received his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, at the Foreign Office (FO) during the latter's brief visit to Islamabad.

In a statement, the FO said that Qureshi underlined the importance of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Germany and maintaining a steady upward trajectory in the relationship.

"The two foreign ministers reviewed bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. FM Qureshi underscored the importance of enhancing mutual cooperation, and collaboration to combat the pandemic in a holistic manner. He thanked the German side for its efforts to ensure earliest possible provision of vaccine through the COVAX initiative," the statement said.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics. The statement noted that both countries enjoyed cordial relations based on shared interests and the two foreign ministers have regularly interacted at the bilateral and international levels and forums.

The Afghan peace process was also discussed during the meeting. Qureshi apprised his German counterpart on Pakistan’s "steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan" and "positive contributions to the Afghan peace process," the statement said.

"He underscored the importance of a responsible withdrawal and steady progress by the Afghan parties towards a negotiated political settlement. He added that all efforts must be made for [the] reduction of violence leading to [a] ceasefire.

"The foreign minister stressed that the Afghan stakeholders must engage constructively to work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution, through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process," said the FO statement.

FM Qureshi also cautioned against the role of "spoilers" and underlined the importance of commitment and perseverance in the efforts for peace. He added that peace in Afghanistan would yield significant dividends including enhanced trade and regional connectivity, the FO said.

Pakistan and Germany enjoy cordial relations based on shared interests. The two foreign ministers have regularly been interacting bilaterally as well as at the international fora.

According to the FO, 2021 marked the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Germany and a range of events were envisaged by the two governments to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.

Qureshi's visit to Berlin

Earlier this month, Qureshi had visited Berlin on the invitation of the German foreign minister and held meetings with business leaders, members of the Pakistani community and German officials.

During Qureshi's visit to Berlin, the two foreign ministers had agreed to strengthen bilateral ties with a focus on increasing trade and investments in a joint press conference. The two had also held delegation-level talks encompassing issues related to trade, energy, visa strategy and peace in Afghanistan.

Qureshi had announced after a meeting with Maas that Pakistan would receive 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine under the Covax facility.

"Following my meeting with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, I am happy to announce that Pakistan will receive 15m doses of the Covid vaccine under Covax, with a commitment for these to be delivered by May," the foreign minister had tweeted.

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